Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)

Multiculturalism, Bigotry, Justified War, and More

Radio Q&A: 15 July 2012

I answered questions on multiculturalism and tolerance, speaking out against bigotry, acting out emotions versus acting on emotions, justified war, and more on 15 July 2012. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.

The mission of Philosophy in Action is to spread rational principles for real life... far and wide. That's why the vast majority of my work is available to anyone, free of charge. I love doing the radio show, but each episode requires an investment of time, effort, and money to produce. So if you enjoy and value that work of mine, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, contributors can request that I answer questions from the queue pronto, and regular contributors enjoy free access to premium content and other goodies.

My News of the Week: If you've not yet listened, Wednesday's show on DiSC was fantastic! Thanks to BlogTalkRadio, over 5500 people listened to last week's show through the BTR archives!


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Segments: 15 July 2012


Question 1: Multiculturalism and Tolerance

Question: What's wrong with multiculturalism? Many people think that "multiculturalism" just means being tolerant of people with different cultural practices than your own. Is that right? What is multiculturalism? What are some examples of it? What's wrong with it, if anything?

Answer, In Brief: A person can and should value a multicultural society while rejecting the destructive collectivist ideology of multiculturalism.

Tags: Culture, Ethics, Judgment, Justice, Multiculturalism, Politics, Race, Relativism

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Question 2: Speaking Out Against Bigotry

Question: When should a person speak up against bigotry? My boyfriend and I were at a party at the home of one of his coworkers. One person at the party started using offensive homophobic slurs, so I asked him not to use that kind of language. He persisted, and the conversation escalated into an argument. My boyfriend did not take a position, and he later said he "didn't want to get involved" and that it had been "none of my business" to stick my neck out against the bigot. I believe that silence implies acceptance. Though there may not be a moral obligation to intervene, it still seems like the right thing to do. What is the moral principle behind this? Is it important enough to end a relationship over?

Answer, In Brief: A person need not – and sometimes should not – dive into an argument over bigotry, but he should not passively accept or tolerate it either. In most cases, a person can register an objection, and if the bigotry persists, extract himself.

Tags: Bigotry, Communication, Conflict, Ethics, GLBT, Justice, Race, Relationships

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Question 3: Acting Out Emotions Versus Acting On Emotions

Question: What's the difference between acting on emotions and acting out emotions? Emotions sometimes cry out for bodily expression, such as hitting something when you're angry. Is "acting out emotions" in that way a form of emotionalism? How is it different, if at all, from acting on emotions?

Answer, In Brief: Emotions often require some form of bodily expression, but a person should use his reason to judge what's appropriate, rather than simply indulging emotions without thought.

Tags: Emotions, Ethics, Personality, Psychology

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Question 4: Justified War

Question: When would a free society go to war? What would the attitude of a rights-respecting country be toward war? How would wars be funded and manned? Is isolationism or interventionism the proper approach?

Answer, In Brief: War, hellish though it is, is justified to protect citizens from invasion, terrorism, and other external threats to rights.

Tags: Ethics, Foreign Policy, War

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Rapid Fire Questions (1:11:38)

In this segment, I answered questions chosen at random by Greg Perkins impromptu. The questions were:
  • On your show about personalities you mostly talked about people who are high in a specific DISC type, what about people who are rather low in their type?
  • I enjoyed your show about DISC, could proximity be a factor in dominance? (I'm not so dominant face-to-face, but I am online.)

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Conclusion (1:14:41)

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio! If you enjoyed this episode, please contribute to contribute to our tip jar.


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The vast majority of Philosophy in Action Radio – the live show and the podcast – is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because my mission is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as I do every week to thousands of listeners. I love producing the show, but each episode requires requires the investment of time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value my work, please contribute to the tip jar. I suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. In return, regular contributors enjoy free access to my premium content.

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About Philosophy in Action

I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.

From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.

You can listen to these 362 podcasts by subscribing to the Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the podcast archive, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.

My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.

You can also read my blog NoodleFood and subscribe to its Blog RSS Feed.

I can be reached via e-mail to diana@philosophyinaction.com.

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